I did a reading last night using my new DruidCraft Tarot by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, and Will Worthington (yesssss, came in the mail yesterday!!! And a side note- after a brief deliberation I decided to trim the cards because they were so huge and cumbersome, and despite my terror they came out well).
The reading was for a friend's husband, who for the sake of privacy I'll call "Jason," though they were fine with me sharing the results on this blog (thank you!). He's been struggling to develop his own business, starting from scratch, and feeling anxious about the future. My friend, meanwhile, has been the primary "bread-winner" as her husband slowly works toward his goals, and making his dreams a reality. They have kids, and he's been acting as a stay-at-home-Dad at the same time. So the question was: "What does the future hold for my business idea?"
I decided to use a 7-card horseshoe spread that I'd been wanting to try, and the card numbers as as follows:
5 6 7
So here goes:
(P.S.: Sorry for the dark picture- it was at night and the light was dim!!!)
Firstly, the Ace of Wands jumped out during shuffling, which felt significant in terms of the question presented.
Card #1, The Past - 9 of Pentacles: I haven't been using reversals, but after some consideration I felt strongly that the reversed meaning of this card was true for Jason. For a long time he's felt a sense of frustration in the development of his plans, and the deep desire to be successful and economically stable. He longs to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labors, but has had a hard time figuring out how to make his hopes real. He's often had the sense of his plans and dreams being thwarted by the everyday issues that come up and get in the way.
Card #2, The Present - 6 of Cups: The image on the card is a man seated in a house, looking out at two children at play. This represents Jason as he's been spending a long time as a stay-at-home-Dad. While he loves spending time with his kids, he also has the feeling that all the time he spends focusing on taking care of them distracts him from approaching his career goals with a clear mind.
Card #3, Underlying Influences - The Princess (Page) of Pentacles: This is a cool card; it represents the fact that Jason has an opportunity to take the idea and early beginnings of his business idea and turn it into a successful endeavor as long as he puts in effort and works steadily toward his goals.
Card #4, Potential Obstacles - 4 of Pentacles: This represents the need to be financially conscientious. While Jason desperately wants to be able to have economic flexibility, he needs to keep in mind that it's a process. While he may find success with his business ultimately, it's important to make budgets and adhere to them in order to maintain balance, especially because in order to grow the business Jason needs to invest some amount of money, and the family as a whole is operating on limited income.
Card #5, The Environment - Queen of Wands: I felt that this represents Jason's wife (my friend). In one way it represents the reality of her balancing her career with her family. In another way it represents the positive and creative environment that she provides Jason, supporting him to find his way and grow his business idea.
Card #6, Advice - 7 of Cups: This is an important card. It represents Jason himself, laying casually on his side and watching the opportunities floating before him. While the road hasn't been easy, and there have bee a lot of distractions along the way, to some degree Jason has been getting in his own way by feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities and routes for growing a successful business. When feeling overwhelmed, he tends to sit back and think for too long about what he "could" do, which creates a sense of frustration and confusion, and limits the action he takes. This card says that in order to move ahead he's going to have to make a decision about what route he wants to take, and move toward making it happen. It also advises Jason to stop getting lost in his dreams of an ideal future which may not be realistic at the moment, and start working with the resources he has at hand.
Card #7, Outcome - The Lovers: This is an encouraging card. It suggests that if Jason follows the advice card, he'll ultimately reach a sense of fulfillment. Card #6 shows a man on a rock ledge peering into a pool of water in which sit all the possibilities he could choose from, that might lead to happiness and success. The Lovers represent the union of desire with reality.
All in all there were two court cards and one trump card. The court cards being in the positions of underlying influences and environment suggests positive energy, and the trump is a promising card in the future outcome position. There were three earths, two waters, one fire, and one air. The Queen of Wands (fire) next to the 7 of Cups (water) may indicate (trying to incorporate the dignities!) that Jason's wife is a positive support, but not critical to the final outcome - that lies in Jason. There is a lot of desire and dreaming happening, but not a lot of focused energy on creation and decision-making, though the Princess of Pentacles does show promise for creating a firm basis for a new project. However the "extra" card, the Ace of Wands, indicates that there is creative energy under the surface which will be able to spring forth if Jason can manage to focus his business goals into a workable plan, and the air element of the Lovers indicates that in order to find success he'll have to be more rational and decisive as well.
I was worried about not being able to connect with a brand new deck, but after trimming it (which was a difficult decision, and not one I imagined I'd ever make!) and performing a consecration and charging ritual, I feel good about them, and felt my accuracy was high on the first go, which is a tremendous relief!
However here is my fear as it relates to reading strangers:
So far I am familiar with everyone I've read. I've never read a complete stranger. I was wondering how I might have interpreted this spread had it been for a stranger who, let's say, only gave me a succinct question to work with, and no background info...? I know that in person you can, and should, ask questions, carry on a conversation with your client. But what if it's via email? Would I have intuited that the 9 of Pentacles should be read in reverse? Would I have come to the conclusion that the 6 of Cups represents a literal situation? I know I'm learning, and sometimes there is a delay between the time I see some of the cards and the moment I have a good idea of what it means. But this is what scares me about providing strong and helpful readings for people I don't know. Food for thought!